Thursday, 20 June 2013

Salford, Oxfordshire

St Mary's Church

The church was originally Norman but was re-built by the Oxford Diocesan architect, and Gothic Revivalist G.E. Street in 1854.

 The south elevation .

The fine stone font dates from the 12th century….

…as does parts of the north and south doorways. Above the north doorway is part of a Norman tympanum with a central Maltese cross flanked by a lion and a centaur – the latter representing Sagittarius, the Archer.

A final view of the north elevation.

Sunday, 9 June 2013


The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin

We spent an hour in Westerham on Saturday (and had one of the best Cream teas ever at 'Food for Thought' on the Green) but also had a quick look in the church. Howveer whilst having tea we looked out over the green and the two statues.

Firstly Winston Churchill. A plaque on the back says 'The plinth was presented by Marshall Tito and the people of Yugoslavia as a symbol of Yugoslav soli and in homage to Sir Winston Churchill's leadership in the War, July 23 1969'. The statue was sculpted by Oscar Nemon, a Croatian sculptor who produced a series of more than a dozen public statues of Sir Winston Churchill.

The second statue is of Major General James Wolfe who was born in Westerham on 2 January 1727 and died in the Battle of Quebeck, 13 September 1759. The statue was designed by Derwent Wood and erected in 1911. James Wolfe was born at the near by Quebec House (which at the time was the  Vicarage). William Pitt the Elder chose Wolfe to lead the British assault on Quebec City in 1759.  

The British army laid siege to Quebec for three months. After an extensive yet inconclusive bombardment of the city, Wolfe then led 200 ships with 9,000 soldiers and 18,000 sailors on a very bold and risky amphibious landing at the base of the cliffs west of Quebec along the St. Lawrence River. His army, with two small cannons, scaled the cliffs early on the morning of September 13, 1759, surprising the French under the command of the Marquis de Montcalm, who thought the cliffs would be unclimbable. Faced with the possibility that the British would haul more cannons up the cliffs and knock down the city's remaining walls, the French fought the British on the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. They were defeated after just fifteen minutes of battle, but when Wolfe began to move forward, he was shot twice in the chest. He reportedly heard cries of "They run," and thus died content that the victory had been achieved. Source:

The church is just behind the green. The earliest parts of the present building date from the 14th century and it has been added to and modified many times over the years. The oldest part is the tower.

The fourteenth century spiral staircase in the tower is one of only two in England from this era  to turn unusually to the left.

The font dates from the 14th century. The Church registers record the baptism of General James Wolfe  and three of Sir Winston Churchill's grandchildren in this same font.

The Westerham War Memorial is in the Churchyard.